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Re: starship-design: FTL travel

In a message dated 4/17/00 9:49:52 PM, bfranchuk@jetnet.ab.ca writes:

>KellySt@aol.com wrote:
>> Oh givern the curent $10,000 a pound launch costs its pretty trivial
>to get
>> 90% cost reductions even with only the current launch rates.  99% reductins
>> with reasonable rate increase is pretty doable.  Assuming you can get
>> customers and reasonably intrest rates.
> I still think $150 per kg to LEO is a goal we need to set for the best
>price of orbital costs.

Best price?  In theory, it should (with a similar sized market) converge to 
the price of trans pacific air freight.  About $5 a pound.  This is because 
the general complexity and power levels are similar. 

I worked out some absolute minimam costs assuming beamed powe steam rockets 
of under a $1 a pound in bulk.  (I think it was about that.)

Obviously we won't bother with a starship or anything untill were doing a LOT 
of surface to LEO flights.

>> It takes 4,000 technicians about 3 months of heavy work to prep a shuttle
>> launch.  Labor and support costs about $200 million per flight.  Drop
>> costs about $60 million.  A bit more to integrate the cargo.  And assuming
>> you don't need to much replacement parts - your up to $300 million before
>> do the launch and pay the mission and launch control peoples payrolls.
> Well that explains why nobody wants to improve the space program,
>3,500+ people would be out of work and the drop tank people out of a

At a minimum.  When the Air Force was looking in to it, their shuttle 
replacement could relaunch withing 24 hours with a complete grond crew of 
under 100, and no mission control.

>> Hate to tell you but in space you can lift and move tons by hand, and
>> very expensive and dangerous to break down large thinks into many small
>> for on site assembly.
>Nope ... inertia is the same.  Because F=MA you can in theory move any
>object if that object moves very very slowly.

Inertion isn't the big issue in moving multi ton opjects.

>Things are more expensive in space ( ignoring the cost of getting there)
>because things have to be done by hand, something that the industrial
>revolution has caused people to forget. Guy S may take 8 hours to
>a prefrabicated wall in space, guy E 10 minutes using power tools and
>assembly line fabrication. 

Well if you do the assembly on the ground its not as big an issue

>Why do I get the feeling that space access
>will be run by big companies who's goal is profit, like the Company
>for Coal mining?

Or the big resort complexes or liners.  Given the highly educated techs these 
systems usually use, your not likely to get away with rough consructin camp 
type facilities.

>> Kelly